Three detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorism suspects have been released to Albania, after authorities determined they were no longer "enemy combatants," officials said Friday.
The State Department announced that the Albanian government agreed to accept an Algerian national, an Egyptian national and an ethnic Uzbek who was born in the former Soviet Union. Their names were not released.
"The United States has done the utmost to ensure that these three detainees will be treated humanely upon release," the Pentagon said in a separate announcement of their release. "Our key objective has been to resettle these detainees in an environment that will permit them to rebuild their lives. Albania will provide this opportunity."
The three were the last of 38 detainees to be released after a U.S. combatant status review determined they were no longer enemy combatants. It took many months for the State Department to find countries that would accept the former terrorist suspects, and in the meantime they were held separately at one of six camps at the Guantanamo Bay compound. That one camp will now be closed, Pentagon officials said.
There are still about 430 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon said. Some have been held since the detention center opened in January 2002.
According to the Pentagon's count, since 2002 approximately 345 detainees have left Guantanamo for other countries including Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.